The joke’s on you if you miss out on misfit hardcore duo Urochromes | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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The joke’s on you if you miss out on misfit hardcore duo Urochromes


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After Urochromes posted the video for their frazzled ripper “Hair So Big” to YouTube this spring, a commenter promised, “Before I die I will give Gilbert Gottfried a Urochromes record.” I like to think Gottfried came up because Urochromes’ debut performance (captured on the band’s 2016 compilation Anthology) features front man Jackie “Jackieboy” McDermott unloading some harsh screams that sound ripped from the famously obnoxious comic’s throat. Jackieboy launched the two-piece band in western Massachusetts in the mid-00s, and his original concept for the group is basically performance art: he’d wanted to play the part of a Jewish comedian from New York who’d stumbled into the role of singer for a neanderthal hardcore band, and to split Urochromes’ sets evenly between music and stand-up. That plan didn’t quite pan out, but his comedic sensibility nonetheless manifests itself in Urochromes’ puckish energy, manic drive, and outsider flair. Backed by a drum machine (far from the norm in the hardcore scene), Jackieboy sings while guitarist Dick Riddick supersizes the band’s vitriolic punches with razor-sharp riffs and colossal feedback. On this year’s Trope House (Wharf Cat), Urochromes tamp down their sonic assault to experiment with different kinds of songwriting; on the sedate “Rumshpringa,” Riddick plays with a lackadaisical charm that’s just as powerful as the band’s hardest tracks.   v

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